I never thought that America had beautiful culture. I spent 15 yrs travelling all over the world searching for the depth and richness of the indigenous. I recently found that here on American soil. And it was beautiful and powerful beyond belief. It shook the core of me, to hear other wordly languages, and tribal prayers, to let the reality sink in that they were american.
The convergence of over 300 tribes coming together to protect the water at Standing Rock is an unprecedented time in history. Because this isn’t just about the 18 million people that get their water from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and affected aquifers, it’s about setting a precedent that clean water is more important than money, for everyone, everywhere.
It's about the awakening of the tribes. It's about the awakening of the indigenous in all of us. They came from all over, to fight in a new way, in an old way; with swords of prayer and daggers of peace. With ritual and reverence for the things that make us human. Water, earth, air, spirit.
My grandmother is Polish and my grandfather is Danish. I am not from the land I live on, my lineage crosses oceans. The layers of soil here carry the stories of generations deep that cannot be traced to the DNA in my bones and blood. I do not speak the language of my ancestors. There is a part of me that craves so deeply to have grown up in tribe, to have the threads of teachings of my grandmothers and grandfathers passed down. Instead they tangle back across oceans and through immigration lines, like so many of us in America. And so I am learning how to make tribe and I am remembering what it feels like to have trees for brothers and birds for sisters, the songs of the plant nations awakening inside me. The more I follow my heart, the stronger those voices are. And they are leading me to places like Standing Rock, where I see that there are still people here that do speak the language and know the ways of their ancestors. They are Sioux- Dakota, Lakota, Oglalla. They are Patawomi and Salish, Cheyenne and Cherokee, Crow and Hopi, Apache and Anasazi, Suquamish and Okanagon and many more. And they are alive and strong.
American culture is rich and indigenous.
It is time, with the deepest most humble respect to come together, to pray together, to honor the land, to honor the people of the land. This is how we rewrite History. This is how we heal the earth. This is how we heal each other.
This is how we become Native to the place we live.